Based on a true story.
Sade could not sit still. She just could not. She had a good feeling about this one. This was it; she was finally pregnant. Her hitherto punctual, albeit annoying, period was late by two weeks. Earlier in the day, she had driven into the pharmacy on her way home from work to pick up her seventh home kit test in six years. After the first three false alarms, she tried to not get her hopes up whenever she bought a test. But this one was different somehow. And she had known it.
Now she was in their tastefully furnished bedroom an hour after taking the test. Positive. It was her second positive. The first time, just last year, she had called Lekan who had rushed to her office in the middle of the day to whisk her off to a celebratory dinner. They had been so ecstatic that day. They got home and called both their parents who, amidst ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’, had thanked God and prayed for her. Lekan’s mother advised her not to tell anyone until after the first trimester so as not to jinx it. Apparently she already had. “It’s a false positive”, the doctor had said. “These things happen sometimes with home tests. That’s why we always advise follow up tests at a lab after …” She had stopped listening. She couldn’t have continued listening to the woman who has tearing her heart out with each word.
It took her a while to recover from that. It was almost as if she had lost a child. Lekan, bless his sweet sweet heart, had been her rock. Always there with a kind word, gesture or just open arms for her to bury herself in and cry. When Aunty Sade, his mother’s younger sister, came to visit one time and offered to bring a wife for him because “Olorukomi is barren”, he had asked her to leave. That was her last visit. It had caused a ruckus with his parents and other family members but Lekan was adamant. They all got the message; no one was to trouble his wife.
But she could still hear it in their silence. She saw it in their eyes. The questions. The mockery. Won’t you give our son an heir?
Now the gods had remembered her. They had given her a daughter. Yes she was pregnant and it was a girl. She couldn’t have known from peeing on a stick. But she knew it; she felt it. She would called her Ayomikun because then, her joy would be complete.
She wasn’t going to tell Lekan just yet though. Or anyone else for that matter. Nope, no jinxing it this time. She would wait till after the lab test before telling him. Not like she really believed telling him would jinx it but he had been so happy last year when they’d thought she was pregnant. And even through her delirium, she couldn’t miss the look of anguish on his face when he came to pick her up from the hospital after the doctor told her there was no baby. She would never forget that look. He was strong, yes. But he was also human.
Luckily for her, he had traveled out of town on business and wasn’t returning home till the following day, Saturday. If he was home, he’d have known something was up. He could even tell when he called her that night but she brushed it off and told him it was nothing. Now all she needed to do was sleep. As if.
The following morning, she was at the lab as early as 7:45am only to be told they didn’t open till 10. “Just great”, she thought. She had a church meeting by 9am so she decided to attend. This turned out to be a big mistake; her anxiety was too great. 45mins into the meeting, she picked up her bag, made some excuse and ran out.
The lab confirmed it. She was pregnant. They were pregnant! THEY WERE PREGNANT! She resisted the urge to call Lekan on the phone to tell him. Instead, she went home and prepared his favorite meal; beans and dodo. She made sure the dodo was extra soft, exactly how he liked it. Then she had a long shower, taking extra time to prep herself. She then put on his favorite attire on her; one of his shirts. Then she waited. The plan was to wait till after he’d eaten to tell him.
When he walked through the door and scooped her up, she couldn’t help herself.
“Babe? Ayo mi kun.”
His reaction was delayed for about three seconds. Like he was trying to stop himself from believing. And then he screamed and laughed and kissed and cried and hugged. It was a beautiful moment in a beautiful day.
Exactly a week later, on a Saturday morning, she woke up and prepared to go on her routine jog round the neighborhood. Lekan went with her sometimes but this morning, he was still asleep and she didn’t want to wake him; his week had been kinda hectic. She was just about to step out when he stirred.
“Hey babe”, she walked over to him and kissed him softly on the lips.
“Ah don’t hey babe me oh. You were about to sneak out of the house and elope with that your Alhaji boss abi?”
She laughed softly. Theirs was the kind of easy relationship which involved a heavy dose of teasing. “Of course. He promised to buy me a yacht.”
“See your mouth. Like you’d know what to do with one.”
She swiped him playfully on his head and he caught her hand before she could withdraw it and dragged her onto the bed with him. “Jogging today? Is that good for the baby?”
“Yeah babe, I checked with the doctor. Apparently exercise is good.”
“Okay then. You want I should come with you?” He said in his best Fulani man imitation.
“It’s okay, I’ll be fine, its regular jogging now, nothing unusual.” She got up from the bed.
“Alright then babe, have fun and don’t exert yourself too much.”
As she reached the door, he suddenly called out, “You know what Sade, wait I am coming.”
Slightly irritated, she waited.
I wish I hadn’t. I wish I had just gone on, pretending like I hadn’t heard him. I wish I had insisted he stayed in bed. I wish I didn’t go jogging that morning. I wish I had never woken up.
“Heart attack”, the doctor had said. Heart attack. Just like that. One minute we were jogging side by side, making jokes about how I was faster and stronger than him. The next minute he was lying, slumped on the floor. “Oh come on Lekan, really? You’re trying to trick me into slowing down for you abi?” Those were my last words to him as he clutched his chest frantically, crumpling to the floor. Then I saw the fear in his eyes and I knew. My Lekan was crumpling to the floor. Who has a heart attack at 39? Who the hell does that?
Ayo mi o kun; Ayo mi ti lo.